The Thai in question is Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (38-0, 28), a rare Thai who fights at Welterweight. Despite his long unbeaten record he hasn't really made a mark of any kind outside of Asia, though is a fighter who has been in more than 30 PABA title fights and has certainly made a mark on the regional scene. Despite being a fixture on the Pacific and Asian boxing scenes he is a total known compared to his upcoming foe, hard hitting Argentinian star Lucas Martin Matthysse (38-4-0-1, 35), who has fought numerous bouts in the US during his exciting career.
Although unknown in the West Teerachai has been scoring notable C tier wins during his career, which began just over 10 years ago. These have included wins over Dan Nazareno Jr, Romeo Jakosalem, Randy Suico, Larry Siwu, and Vladimir Baez. None of those would be fit to test Matthysse, but in reality they are far from bad fighters, with Suico and Jakosalem being former OPBF champions and Baez now set for a Japanese title fight. The gap between them and Matthysse is huge, but they are decent wins for a rising contender, like Teerachai has been.
Teerachai has looked like a talented, but flawed, fighter coming through the ranks. He has appeared to depend a lot on his size and physical strength at times but can box, and his KO win against Baez showed that Teerachai can cope with very aggressive fighters and can counter that aggression well. His finishing shot against Baez was an absolute peach of a right hand, but he had also used a measured and stiff jab to keep Baez at range. That jab will have to be a key if he's to defeat the naturally smaller Matthysse,, but landing it on a world class fighter will be a million miles harder than it's been at the regional level.
Although a notable name now a days Matthysse was a relative unknown outside of Argentina early in his career. For some it wasn't until his controversial 2010 loss to Zab Judah that he managed to make a mark on the sport, with his even more controversial loss the following year to Devon Alexander really establishing him as being one to watch. Wins over Humberto Soto, Ajose Olusegun, Mike Dallas Jr and Lamont Peterson all showed that Matthysse was a definitive world class fighter, and despite a loss to Danny Garcia he has remained a fixture at world level, despite a stoppage loss in 2015 to Viktor Postol.
In the ring Matthysse is a viciously hard hitting fighter. He's tough, spiteful with his punches but can genuinely box rather well. He has often been regarded as crude and a slugger, but the reality is that he's a very solid boxer, who is just blessed with brutal power. Sadly he is now 35 with just 5 rounds under his belt in the last 2 years and is naturally quite a small fighter at 147lbs, despite being a huge puncher. Physically he's not much taller, or rangier, than Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi, and whilst he is very powerful it was clear that he can struggle with tall rangy fighters, as he did against Postol.
The Argentinian is the clear favourite. He's the more proven fighter, the more well known man and the one with the power. Though as we saw last year there is a gritty determination among Thai fighters, which sees them take a chance when offered one.
We're expecting to see Teerachai make the most of this huge opportunity and look to establish his jab, keep Matthysse at range and frustrate the ageing Argentinian. Matthysse at his best almost certainly sees off Teerachai within 5 or 6 rounds. But this version of Matthysse is 10 years older than Teerachai, has had wear and tear from bouts with Postol, Rusklan Provodnikov, John Molina Jr, Danny Garcia, Humberto Soto and many more others. We're going on on the limb and predicting the upset here, with a shock win for Teerachai.